The Zero Landfill Initiative (ZLI) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to moving communities and enterprises away from landfilling, and toward resource recovery and environmental protection.
The ZLI reflects growing consensuses that:
1) Product Design
2) Material and EnergyRecovery
Most importantly, a product needs to be designed with the concept in mind to have a long or versatile life of its own.
The second part of effective resource management and moving towards a circular economy is through the recovery of the ‘product’. Once the ‘product’ reaches its end of life its components need to be efficiently recovered/mined for further use.
When designing and manufacturing ‘products’ we use energy, consequently it makes no sense to discard of this energy in landfills either. In addition,the end product of such a process can safely be used as an aggregate in the building and construction industry thus recovering over 99% of the original product.
A sustainable waste management system requires an initial larger investment. Landfilling is cheap because the environmental requirements regarding landfilling in North America are completely inadequate. The result is a cheap short-term solution with exponential long-term costs to us and our heirs while wasting our resources.
The cheap practice of landfilling significantly limits our ability to recycle.